Star Wars

Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)


Concept featured in film: Speed of Light

Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The scene opens with Luke and Ben on the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo and Chewbacca. They are being chased by Empirical cruisers so Han decides the only way to lose them is to make the jump to light speed. "Traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops boy. Without precise calculations we can fly right through a star or bounce too close to a super nova and that would end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"

Connection of flickclip to the concept: In this clip, the characters have switched their traveling speed to "light speed." What is the speed of light? What happens at the speed of light?

Suggestions to Teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. A teacher can begin by asking basic questions about the speed of light:

i. When traveling at the speed of light, how fast are you actually traveling? State in mph.

ii. How close is our nearest galaxy? State in light years. How many miles is that?

iii. Can light travel faster than c? Slower?

iv. Could we travel faster than light?

b. What about the consequences for traveling a the speed of light...

i. What happens to length at the speed of light?

ii. What happens to time?

iii. What about the infamous "twin paradox"...Do the characters seem to be affected by the paradox? Elaborate.

iv. Speculate what light would look like at the speed of light.